Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm jealous of the two of them

My best friend, a Boulder native, is at the ballpark tonight. Watching his Rockies play the Padres. Guess who is pitching. Yes, my beloved future Hall of Famer, Greg Maddux.

Tonight two of my favorite men leave me feeling left out.

I have the strength of 10 and cannot be vanquished!

A group of coworkers and I wandered over to the Taste of Chicago at lunchtime and I am proud to report that I walked right past the booths that tempted me with familiar fare. No Robinson's rib tips or Billy Goat cheez-borger/cheez-borger for this Gal. Not today.


Skewered shark veracruz (or "shark on a stick," as we like to call it) was the feature at The Polo Cafe booth, and I went for it. It tasted like just about any other baked fish with a chunky tomato sauce and capers, but that's not the point.


I'm a wee bit burpy but still proud of myself. I am a true lunch time adventuress!

Manic Monday #14

What sound or noise do you love? A cat purr.

What sound or noise do you hate? You know the sound when you assemble a brand new moving box? The way the cardboard sounds against the cardboard? I get goosebumps just thinking of it. I may stay in my condo forever, just to avoid that noise.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Pet sitter.

What profession would you not like to do? Food service.

This kinda reminds me of that survey from the end of Inside the Actor's Studio on Bravo. Except it's missing the question about God -- "If Heaven exists, what would like to hear God say to you at the Pearly Gates?" My answer to that would be, "Hi, Honey. Welcome!"

To play along yourself, or to check other answers, click here.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dear Amy …

Watching the game, drinking beer* and getting ready to write to Amy, my former admin who contacted me out of the blue last week. I really don't know what to tell her I've been up to, and OK, I admit that this post may just be a good way to put off composing something I don't know how to start. (Hey, I'm a professional writer! I bill by the hour! I can rhapsodize eloquently forever about the value of "creative avoidance.")

Today my emoticon has remained at "happy," and it's accurate. How to convey to Amy that my life, while low on drama, is high on contentment … and, to borrow from the Boss, that's alright with me?

My job's fine … I'm fat but fine … and I checked in with the fam today and it seems like all is well there, too.

My sister's family came back from vacation yesterday and today my 9-year-old nephew reported the highlights: he caught a 22" fish -- the biggest of his "fishing career!" -- which he photographed but then let go … he played with a kid named Dakota and Dakota's younger sister, Erin … the family cat is very happy they're home … and he feels my mom, his grandmother, did "a very good job" caring for his turtle, Georgina, in his absence. (My nephew has always been generous with praise.)

My mom is worried about my older sister's very troubled daughter. Since my mom was ill recently, you may assume that I'd view this as a bad thing. An unnecessary drain on her strength. But no, right now, I think it's a good thing because it means my mom is back to being her old self again. I know she loves and appreciates and depends on me. But it's nothing like the adoration she feels for her grandchildren. My older sister's daughter was unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, and this is worrisome because, in the past, this niece has been a cutter and she's even attempted suicide. Perhaps a regimen of unconditional grandma love is just what both grandmother and granddaughter need.

If my life was a novel along the lines of Little Women, of course I would be Jo (doesn't every girl see herself as Jo?) and my uncle would be Aunt March. He's rich, imperious, grumpy and seems to get pleasure out of only two things: his elderly tiger-striped tabby and discussing his wealth ad nauseum. However, unlike Aunt March, much of what makes him irascible and disagreeable is that he's dying slowly of Parkinson's Disease. That's why, weirdly enough, I am happy to report that he just sold his house at a loss. That house had been chosen and decorated by his late wife and it was too big for one person. His new, smaller home will have a smaller yard with neighbors nearer by, and, best of all by his lights, selling it at a loss of about $40,000 gives him the opportunity to really financially screw his much-hated stepdaughter. So much of what gave him his identity -- his good looks, his prowess on the ski slopes, his competitive time in 5K and 10K races -- is gone, stolen from him by Parkinson's. Manipulating this deal, playing financial chicken with someone who couldn't afford to lose when he could, made him feel alive again. He's really pleased with this deal (even with the loss he won't have to touch his principal), and so I'm pleased for him. Because while I don't especially like who he's become, I do understand him. And, as often in families, not liking someone doesn't preclude loving him.

Except for the part about my nephew's fish, none of this is appropriate "out of the blue" small talk for Amy, though, is it? Maybe if I switch to ink on paper, I'll think of something suitable to say …

*If the momentum of this game doesn't change soon, I'm switching to something stronger.

Look at That Girl Now

I'm watching a Law & Order: SVU repeat on USA and am impressed by Marlo Thomas. In the episode "Poison," she's Mary Clark, once a judge, now a high-powered Manhattan defense attorney. Yes, she looks terrific for a woman of about 70, but that's not what impresses me. A skillful surgeon and his knife just might deserve the credit for that. No, it's her performance.

The madcap, optimistic, super-trendy and aspiring (if never quite successful) actress of That Girl is a crisp, efficient realist who is tailored in both dress and manner. She uses her familiar alto voice to great advantage here. But instead of, "Don-ald …" or "Dad-dy …," she mutters admiringly, "Well, I'll give you this: you've got balls."

I guess this just goes to remind me that stars are actors.

Unconscious Mutterings #24

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Loneliness :: "All the lonely people, where do they all belong?" (Eleanor Rigby)
  2. Traffic :: Jam
  3. Chaos :: KAOS (Get Smart)
  4. Burp :: 'Scuze me
  5. 500 :: Indianapolis
  6. Movie :: Theater
  7. Coma :: Amnesia, evil twins, and other soap opera plot devices
  8. Bark :: Meow
  9. Stare :: Glare
  10. Angelina :: Ballerina (the world's best-dressed and most graceful mouse)
To mutter yourself, or to see how other bloggers responded, click here.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Me and "Her"

I often forget "Her," the me I once was, until something dopey happens that brings her roaring back.

The Cubs lost their second of three games to … sorry, I cannot even say it. I wasn't so much sad -- as a lifelong Cub fan, I've learned to take loss in stride. I was just unbelieving. This wasn't the way I wanted or expected it to go.

I have, by choice, no plans for tonight. Between the Crosstown Classic and Stevie Wonder at the Taste of Chicago, there are parties I could dive into. I just don't feel like it. I was out a lot last week, will be out a lot next week, am trying to be more sensible with money, and besides, I like my alone time.

So after the game, I began channel surfing. Looking for Law & Order. Original or SVU, I didn't care. Amazingly, perhaps for the first time in the history of cable, I could not find L&O! Instead. I landed on What's Love Got to Do with It, the Tina Turner biopic.

This may sound weird, but I actually forgot that I once suffered years of abuse at the hands of a lover. It was many years and lots of therapy sessions ago. Besides, unless confronted with it, I try to leave those memories tucked away. They seem irrelevant to the Me I am now. Those awful things happened to Her.

So it wasn't masochism that had me curl up on the couch with a Stouffer tuna casserole and Ike and Tina Turner. It was denial. Then the on-screen beatings started, and I couldn't ignore what had happened to Her anymore. So I grabbed the remote and clicked away.

I feel bad for Her. I am sorry that She didn't have the maturity to see what was happening, how she was being manipulated, while it was going on. I am proud that She finally screwed up the courage to get out. Most of all, I honor and respect her suffering by having learned from it. I've examined that whole relationship, acknowledge that I allowed it to happen, and am confident I will never, never be in Her position ever again.

Life goes on. And I like the life I've built since then. So now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get my laundry out of the dryer and see if I can't find some more books to donate for a community fundraiser. Somehow I'll enjoy doing these day-to-day things more than if I hadn't seen part of What's Love Got to Do with It.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Planning my own proper send off

I found this at Layla's Classic Rock Faves, and I think it's a revealing and provocative question:


I take my music very seriously, always have. So I've chosen two songs that I think represent me well, and will remind my mourners of my life. (This is the weirdest exercise!)

"Mary's Place" by Bruce Springsteen
Familiar faces around me
Laughter fills the air
Your loving grace surrounds me
Everybody's here
Furniture's out on the front porch
Music's up loud
I dream of you in my arms
I lose myself in the crowd

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Meet me at Mary's place, we're gonna have a party
Meet me at Mary's place, we're gonna have a party
Tell me how do you live broken-hearted?
Meet me at Mary's place

"Let It Be" by The Beatles
When the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow
Let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom,
Let it be.

What about you? Are there any songs you think would be appropriate for your last party?

An unnecessary decision

The village I live in has made it illegal to own handguns. The city I work in has made it illegal to own handguns. Voters in both my village and in Chicago accept -- even embrace -- these laws. Yet something that isn't broken is about to be "fixed," thanks to the Supreme Court.

In their ruling about the DC gun ban, striking it down with a razor-thin 5-4 majority, the Supremes have imperiled Chicago's law. And Mayor Daley, God bless him, is pissed. He began by calling the ruling "very frightening" and went on to add:

"Does this lead to everyone having a gun in our society? If [the justices] think that's the answer, then they're greatly mistaken. Then why don't we do away with the court system and go back to the Old West, you have a gun and I have a gun and we'll settle it in the streets?"

I have come to believe that guns are a regional issue. Citizens in Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, etc., don't necessarily view them as a "right." They are, instead, often seen as a peril to our neighborhoods and children. It's no accident that where crimes like urban dog fighting flourish, so do illegal firearms. I have also vacationed in Arkansas and Wisconsin often enough to know that there's a culture of hunters, law-abiding people who consider their guns a valuable part of their lifestyle and heritage.

The reality is that this is a big country, and that attitudes and needs change and shift as you move from sea to shining sea. If a majority of voters here accept our gun ban, why can't it stand? Second Amendment, yeah, yeah, yeah. Our founding fathers built the Constitution to be flexible. I believe the Second Amendment should be repealed, and the "right" of gun ownership should be determined by municipality. And, by the way, no one will ever be convince me that great men like Jefferson and Adams meant for the Constitution to protect gang bangers and to facilitate children killing children, which is what the handgun ban in Chicago is designed to curb.

But, alas, I'm a realist. Barack Obama's disappointing response to this ruling pointed me to the writing on the wall. And if the handgun bans here and in Chicago are repealed, I'm going to miss sleeping soundly at night.

Friday Music Memoirs #2

Top 5 Songs with "You" in the Title

These are the first five that occurred to me, and I do love them all.
1) She Loves You -- The Beatles
2) You Don't Know Me -- Jann Arden (and many others, but I like hers best)
3) You Can Look, But You Better Not Touch -- Bruce Springsteen
4) If Only You Knew -- Patti LaBelle
5) You Never Can Tell -- Chuck Berry

To play along yourself, and to see how others answered, visit here.

Friday's Feast #34

What is the weather like today where you live? 80º+ with a chance of thunderstorms. It's gonna be humid like this through the weekend. This means that I'll have that "Hermie the Elf" thing happening with my bangs each day.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how career-minded are you? 6. If I can hang on to this job, serve my clients well, and get my finances in shape, I'll be happy enough. But I can remember well those days, not that long ago, when I made "career moves." It just doesn't matter so much anymore.

What type of window coverings do you have in your home? Blinds, curtains, shutters, etc.? Blinds and drapes in the bedrooms, drapes alone in the livingroom.

Main Course
Name something that instantly cheers you up. Hearing from my best friend.

How many times do you hit the snooze button on a typical morning? Three times.

For more information,or to whip up your own feast, click here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

They like me! They really like me!

Nice things people have said to me this week …

"I just wanted you to know I am thinking of you." An out-of-the-blue email from my former administrative assistant, who I haven't seen in 2 jobs and 9 years.

"I refuse to! Why would I go into the Loop if I can't get together with a dear friend for drinks and conversation." My former boss, who has had his share of medical problems, was planning a follow-up exam with his GP around my schedule. I told him to keep the appointment next week anyway, even though this time I won't be able to meet him afterward, like I usually do.

"But you're our glue. We'll reschedule." The only day next week that I'm free to go to the Taste of Chicago is Monday. And Monday is the only evening our single-dad-friend can see his kids next week. So I told my friends to go another evening without me, and that's how one of them responded.

"Expect an invitation pretty soon. I mean, you know I gotta invite the Gal!" A long-time friend who is getting married soon. This call cheered me up because, as he moved in with his future Bride and began planning the wedding, I naturally have seen my drinking buddy less and less.

I don't know why I've been on the receiving end of all this LOOOVVE all in one week, but I'm completely digging it. It's good to feel appreciated, and these words have meant a lot to me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #73 -- There's No Place like Home




I love I Love Lucy, unless she’s in Connecticut. When I tune into the TV Land Classic and see that living room with the staircase, I inwardly groan. The Riccardos belong in NYC! The vacations in Europe, Florida and, of course, Hollywood were fun, but we knew that eventually they were returning to that brownstone. Lucy in the burbs is just wrong.

I’m not alone in feeling this way. More than 560 voters at Jump the Shark agree with me. Here are the top 13 shows TV aficionados believe lost their way when they left home.

1) The X-Files moved from Vancouver to LA
2) All in the Family lost Gloria, Mike and little Joey to their own home
3) Laverne and Shirley moved from Milwaukee to Los Angeles
4) I Love Lucy goes out to the country
5) The Facts of Life girls graduate and open Edna’s Edibles
6) Little House on the Prairie leaves that little house behind
7) Coach graduates from college ball to the NFL and Florida
8) Pinky and the Brain move to Elmyra’s
9) Perfect Strangers moved from their own little apartment to a big house with their girlfriends
10) Pimp My Ride moved to a new shop
11) Yes, Dear moved into their own home
12) McHale’s Navy left their post in the South Pacific for Italy
13) Mary Tyler Moore nails her M on the wall of a bigger apartment

If this were MY list, and not one I stole from, it would have Kate moving in with Allie and husband Bob on Kate and Allie and Tony moving out of Angela’s house on Who’s the Boss? in the top 13. (Uh-oh! Did I just admit to watching Who’s the Boss?)

Include your link in the comments and I'll add you here:
1) Michelle has a beautiful, arty TT
2) Malcolm takes us back to the 1980s
3) Chelle gives us a tour of her family room
4) See what Allison is willing to reveal about Allison
5) Hootin' Ani shares more wisdom from Jefe
6) SJR gets us in the Indepedence Day spirit
7) Bellezza and her dog Henry take us for a hike in the woods
8) Jenny McB just doesn't get these 13 things
9) Nicholas takes on workplace cliches
10) Claudia shares what works for her
11) Susiej dedicates her summery TT to ice cream
12) Kristi curls up and dozes off for her TT
13) Sandy remembers George Carlin
14) Susan Helene Gottfried has more musical misadventures of the "fake" variety
15) Jehara shows us her home
16) Journeywoman shares some of George Carlin's best bits
17) Lori gets all yummy on us
18) Clarence shares 13 facts about poor young Paloma
19) Forgetfulone shares what she learned during her Arizona vacation
20) Angie remembers rocking in the 1980s
21) Renee highlights her favorite Post Secrets
22) Peter Plum introduces us to a game of chance
23) Lisa's TT is devoted to Q
24) Brenda helps the budding author in each of us
25) Amy catches us up on the last 7 years
26) Clara has some breathtaking lighthouse shots
27) Chris ends his June 13s on a proud note

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

We're still us

I saw my best friend last night for the first time since May! We exchange emails a couple times a day, but we haven't been in the same room in three months. I have missed him enormously because he's one of the few people I'm entirely comfortable with, because it feels like he really gets me and accepts me. Also because, while his life isn't perfect (no one's is), he is refreshingly drama free. He feels like a safe haven.

Last night he caught me up on his family, his vacation and his job. We discussed his poor dog (see below) and baseball and the Presidential election. We talked and laughed about my job. Then I helped him with a slide for his Powerpoint presentation (he was, after all, in Chicago on business). Best of all, I gave him his birthday gifts -- a personalized cutting board, a cookbook of recipes direct from "The Conch Republic," and an oven mitt that says, "Caution! Men Cooking."

It was a lovely evening, and seeing him made me so very happy. I'm so glad we're still the same friends we've always been. It's good to have a relationship like this I can count on.


Here's the latest on my best friend's dog: She has a herniated disc, which accounts for her difficulty moving, and the tests revealed a bladder infection. Her complete bloodwork isn't back yet, so the vet has postponed any real "work" on the disc until it's confirmed that nothing else is wrong. In the meantime, she's on antibiotics and painkillers. Thanks to the meds, and being home with her people and her routine, her appetite has returned.

The good news is that vet seems very matter-of-fact about all this, as though this is simply what happens to border collies as they age.

My friend and his wife are both quite melancholy about their dog's condition. First of all, she was their "baby" before they had their daughters, so naturally she's an integral part of their life, a member of the family, and they love her.

Then there's the poignant parental aspect of it. While it seems like a good bet that the dog will come through this and enjoy a comfortable life again, she is nearly 14 years old. At some point, sooner rather than later, my friend is going to be confronted with one of the more difficult tasks of Daddydom. As he said last night, "The girls don't know life without that dog." He's told me time and again how involved the dog has always been with those girls, how she's worn a track around the perimeter of their lawn, racing around to protect and "herd" the kids as they played outside. The inevitably sad way this story is going to end tugs at the heart. It's times like this that I'm glad I'm not a mom.

When I get home to my healthy, happy cats tonight, I'm going to give them each an extra head rub and take the time to really appreciate what a gift they are to me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

He's here!

My best friend is in Chicago for the night. We'll be meeting in about an hour to celebrate his birthday and catch up. I'm so happy … so excited … I've missed him soooo much!

Tag Time!

Mr. Sparky Duck tagged me, and I'm glad, because it gives me an excuse to use this cool picture. Now, here are the rules:

a) Link to the person who tagged me.

b) Mention the rules.

c) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself.

d) Tag 6 other bloggers by linking to them.

e) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged.

And now, I am sure, more than you ever wanted to know...

1) Geeky as ever, I still look forward to getting my mail each day. I'm not even disappointed when it's all bills.

2) My cat Joey is named for Joey Tribbiani, Matt LaBlanc's character on Friends. LaBlanc should be honored -- my Joey is quite a guy, a cat among cats.

3) I have never shoplifted anything, nor have I snuck into the movies without paying. I have been known to cross against the light, but that's about as lawless as this Gal gets.

4) I wear a size 6.5 shoe (sometimes a 7, depending on the shoe).

5) Because I prefer the Cubs' radio broadcasters, at least once a season I try to watch a game with the TV sound off and the radio on. I tell myself that this time it won't bother me that the sound and picture aren't in sync (TV is on delay by a second or two), but it does and I give up. But hope springs eternal with me. I guess that's part of being a Cub fan.

6) I hate tomatoes. Their consistency creeps me out. Too runny inside. So I haven't missed them one bit during the restaurant ban.

THERE! Was I quirky enough? Boring enough?

Now for the tagging ...

1) Mo
2) Book Mama
3) Jenny McB
4) Kwizgiver
5) No Nonsense Girl
6) Malcolm

Tuesday Tunes #3

What if:

What if a friend took your favorite CD and never returned it. First what CD would it be, and how huge of a row/fight would you have with your friend as a result?
I'd say my favorite CD, my go-to CD when I want familiar songs that evoke pleasant memories, is the soundtrack to My Best Friend's Wedding. Under most circumstances, I'd ask for it back regularly until it was returned. If it was a friend who took it with when he moved (which happened to me not all that long ago), I'd just chalk it up to him wanting a memento that reminded him of me and I'd buy another one.

What if you found a mix CD laying on the ground? Would you pick it up and try to play it?
Nope. Ooh! Icky! Dirty! And just waiting to gum up my CD player.

What if you somehow ended up having dinner with your favorite recording artist, what would the dinner conversation be like?
Do you prefer Sir Paul or Dr. McCartney? Do you still set out to write songs like you did with John (that's the story I heard about "A Hard Day's Night"), or do you just compose when the song comes to you? Did she really throw a glass of water on your lawyer in court? And why on earth didn't you have a prenup?

To play along, or to check out other answers, click here.

Heads & Tails #17

Today's theme is "line." As someone who doesn't drive -- and with gas at about $4.25/gallon, I'm glad I don't -- the word "line" conjures up public transportation. Fortunately the Chicagoland area has a pretty extensive, highly affordable system that exists under the RTA (Regional Transit Authority). Here are the "lines" I couldn't do without:

CTA El -- I take the Green Line elevated train to and from work each day. 45 minutes door to door, and $1.75 per trip. Those who prefer battling rush hour traffic and paying for city parking are welcome to it. I'll just sit here and read the paper en route to work.

Metra Railroad -- If I'm working late, or having dinner or partying downtown, I take the Union Pacific West Line home. A little more expensive than the El, it's also a little safer after dark.

Pace Suburban Bus System -- I refer to this as "my other car," my weekend wheels. I ride the 307 Line to the mall and 304 Line when I go home to visit my mom.

If you can, give both your wallet and the environment a break and consider taking a bus or train ride at least once a week. It just might help us reduce our national dependence on fossil fuel.

For more information on Heads or Tails, or to play along yourself, visit the HoT site.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Poor Old Girl

My best friend went away for about five days and left the family border collie/mix at a kennel. He picked her up today and was most upset with what he heard. The woman who cared for the dog this past week said Gumbo was stiff and slow moving and at times seemed to be in pain. Naturally when she heard my friend's voice she went nuts with happiness and exhibited no symptoms at all, but he's going to keep a very close eye on her.

He somehow senses this may be "it" for her. In the past year she's had one health problem after the other … allergies that made it hard for her to keep her food down, an inner ear infection that temporarily had an impact on her balance, etc. Now this.

I told him to just watch her closely and get her to the vet, two things he was going to do anyway. It could be arthritis or some back problem that can be treated easily with meds.

But Gumbo has been a member of his family since before his 6th grade daughter was born, so I know she must be at least 13 years old. Today wasn't the time to ask, but it's possible she's 14. She is an elderly and much-loved lady. This may just be the beginning of that awful, slow journey that all pet owners dread. I hope it's not, but the instincts of an owner who loves his dog are often right, even when they're heartbreakingly sad.

Manic Monday #13

Are you a talker or a listener? Is it ever possible to really be both? Not for me. I babble and blab. Especially when I'm excited. I try to be a better listener, but it's hard.

Do you think God has a sense of humor? Yes. And I believe that He thinks I'm funny. I also suspect He's very happy to be able to spend quality time with George Carlin, whose humor was always gentle.

Do you believe in love at first sight? Have you ever experienced it? No, and no. Lust, yes. Infatuation, of course. But love takes time.

To play along yourself, or to see other answers, visit the official Manic Monday site.

I think this a GOOD thing

Update on my friend, Kathy -- the one whose life completely got away from her and she ended up broke, unemployed and crashing with her daughter's family (and her daughter's house is being foreclosed upon sometime this summer).

I have done what I can to help her -- primarily finding a good, temporary home for her two cats until she finds somewhere permanent to live. Her two gray tabbies are being fostered by the animal shelter where I adopted my cat, Reynaldo, in exchange for Kathy volunteering her time. The cats get to stay together, are well cared for in terms of food and vet attention, and get time out of their cages every day so they get exercise. Plus Kathy helped with the shelter's rummage sale and will handle other projects for them, so she doesn't feel she's accepting charity. In all, I think this was the happiest circumstance we could have hoped for.

I had breakfast with Kathy yesterday and was encouraged by the change in her attitude. Up until now, she was simply overwhelmed. I completely understood that. She was in dire circumstances herself and was worried about her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. That must have been terrifying.

What I didn't understand, though, was her point-of-view on her situation. She kept saying that she ended up this way "through no fault" of her own. Or, "I know there's no one to blame here." I wanted to slap her, a la Cher, and shout, "Snap out of it!"

She knew her real estate business was going nowhere for more than a year. She must have spent many a sleepless night crunching numbers, knowing how much debt and how few assets she had left. She let it get far, far too bad before she abandoned ship and got an administrative assistant job which, by all accounts, didn't perform well at. While I have nothing but compassion for her, and realize we are capable of making very bad decisions, I also try to have at least one foot in reality at all times. If these circumstances are not her fault, whose fault are they? And as long as she feels like a victim of what life has handed her, what hope does she have of turning it around?

But yesterday she actually said, "I know I screwed up." In her follow-up email this morning, she mentioned how important it was for her to get her cats back because "they trusted me and I let them down." I don't think it's a coincidence that, now that she has accepted some responsibility for what's happened, that she feels empowered enough to plan.

She has gotten a job laying out ads for a suburban newspaper. She wants to get back into writing, and this is a wonderful first step. She realizes that while she has a free roof over her head and free food for the next few months, she has to maintain her own cell phone, car payments and health/auto insurance. She's also using this opportunity to get a little ahead so that, when her daughter's family rents a house, she can rent an apartment and be independent again. I was so happy to hear all this!

I'm not saying that we should all spend hours beating ourselves up for our faults and missteps. I also realize that Kathy is not responsible for escalating health costs and a real estate market that crashed around her. But when you're a complete victim of circumstance, then you don't have any power to improve your own lot. I believe we must OWN our lives, must admit our responsibility and then we must try to shape what we can. That's what she's doing now, and it makes me very happy.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Hey, Chicago, what do you say? Cubs are gonna win today!"

I was going to mention the White Sox in the title and illustrate this post with a broom, but that would be sooooo tacky. I'm so happy right now, I can be compassionate toward those tragic loser fans on the South Side. It's been a great weekend!

It's bugging me

My mom is doing well since her hospital stay, and I'm grateful. She swears up and down she hasn't had a cigarette in over a month. She is adhering to her med regimen -- remembering when to take her pills and when to use her inhaler. She's taking it easy but still becoming more active day by day, week by week. She felt strong enough to clean up her own backyard after one of our recent wicked thunderstorms (removing a branch so big it was really a hunk of tree) and I was so proud of her! Her doctor is so pleased with her recovery that he is giving her July off -- allowing her to skip next month's appointment and wait till August to see him again.

But here's the thing: She's getting vague. The first time I noticed it, I thought it was funny. She asked me something about my friend, John. SHE brought him up. I answered. She replied with an anecdote about my brother-in-law. I said, "You're right, that sounds just like John." She said, "John? John who?" I teased her about it and she laughed.

It happened again Friday. It was more subtle, and I didn't even mention it to her. But it did happen and it's been bothering me, little a pebble in my shoe. She told me something cute my older sister said. Only it wasn't my older sister. She was telling me a story about me.

She's getting old. She's over 70 and she endured a bout with pneumonia and is recovering slowly, but recovering all the same. Maybe this is to be expected as her body adjusts to all her meds. But I will remain vigilant. If it happens again between now and her August doctor visit, I'm going to insist she mention it to him.

Sunday Randomness

This week's questions are book related....

1. Who are your favorite authors? Non-fiction: Doris Kearns Goodwin; Fiction: Marian Keyes; Mystery: Sue Grafton or Robert Parker

2. What are your favorite books? JFK: Restless Youth, Gone with the Wind

3. What kind of books do you tend to read? Sci-fi, Romance, Mystery...etc...? Biography, chick-lit, mystery

4. Do you prefer to borrow books from the library or buy them? Buy them

5. Do you prefer hardcover or paperback? Hardcover

6. What was the last book you read? What are you reading now? Last book: Shopaholic and Baby. Currently: Abigail Adams. (They're both on my Shelfari shelf at right)

7. Do you read everyday? Yes. I read on the train, at the health club or over meals.

8. On average how many books do you read per year? From June 07 to June 08, I've read 21 books.

9. Do you belong to any book clubs? Nope.

10. Recommend a good book. Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers by Elizabeth Edwards. This book had a tremendous impact on me. Elizabeth Edwards faces grief, mourning and recovery head on. She spares nothing. Her unflinching honesty taught me many things, not the least of which is to graciously accept help from others when I need it.

To play along, or to check out other answers, click here.

"It's (snap) competition, Bay-buh!"

The TV Land modeling/reality show, She's Got the Look, had given me a freakazoid that I loved to hate, Paula. Striking and beautiful, she's also highly muscled and very tattooed. Oh, and she has virtually no hair. She had a memorable freakout last week, saying that she resented being judged on her appearance. OF COURSE YOU DO, Paula! You entered a modeling competition to show us your intellect. She also lied. She explained away her less than glam portraits by saying she was uncomfortable because she's never been photographed professionally before. Then how do we explain this portrait of "Whip Snap," her alter ego on the Sci-Fi Channel's "Who Wants to Be a Superhero? Sorry, but I don't believe it was snapped with a disposable camera picked up at CVS. And while I could describe her look in this shot as many things, "self conscious" is not one of them.

But this week, my heart went out to her. It was a runway competition and this poor woman could not walk in heels. Could not. She was so awkward, so frightened, so pathetic that I couldn't even bring myself to laugh at her. It was a relief when she was voted off.

So now I'm left with Chicago-girl Celeste as my show villain. More conventionally beautiful than Paula, she's graceful and has decades-ago modeling experience. She's positioning herself as the tough-as-nails, battle-hardened one to beat. When one of the women expressed sadness that her best "show buddy" had been eliminated last week, Celeste pooh-poohed it. "It's (snap) competition, Bay-buh!" And when the women had to reveal something about themselves no one knows, one talked about putting her modeling aspirations on hold for her kids … one talked about a miserable marriage … another was stabbed when she was in junior high … But it was Celeste who really opened up. Yes, she bravely ponied up with, "I play a mean saxophone." I wept.

I'm still pulling for Hope. She's real, she's funny, and she's short (like me). Best of all, I admire how willingly she throws herself into each challenge and changes her look. She's loves fashion and she's going for her dream, and it's fun to watch her.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another win on the North Side

As Snowbird noted in a comment on my entry below, the Cubs' glory just keeps growing! We still have the best record in MLB. We are still unbeaten in an even dozen games at home.

Yet to gloat over today's decisive 11-7 victory over our inner-city rivals would be tacky, South Side behavior. So instead I'll just show the W for Win pennant. The "W" is like a single strand of pearls or a simple black dress ... in its elegant, understated way, it says it all.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My, what a lovely afternoon!

1) I got the afternoon off.

2) The Cubs beat the Sox -- in the bottom of the 9th! At home in the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, no less.

3) I got my brows waxed for the first time, and contrary to my fears, I do not look like a perpetually surprised cartoon character.

4) I celebrated with a cup of Ben & Jerry's Coconut Almond Fudge.

All this and heaven, too!

Friday Music Memoirs

Top 5 albums that you can't stop playing lately, and tell us why you love them!

1) On right now, Silk Degrees by Boz Scaggs.
"We're All Alone" popped up when I had my iPod on Shuffle and I was so happy to hear it. It's been a while since I listened to this one, and it's good to get back in touch with my inner blue-eyed-soul-70s chick every now and again.

2) Van Morrison at the Movies. His soundtrack hits. It's a good representation of his entire career in 19 tracks, and really, I can't hear "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven when You Smile)" often enough these days.

3) The Beatles White Album. There may be better Beatle albums, but none with this variety of genres and styles. Whatever mood I'm in, somehow the White Album manages to fit it.

4) Songs about Jane by Maroon 5. Welcome to Hitsville. "Harder to Breathe," "This Love," "She Will Be Loved," "Sunday Morning" …

5) The Very Best of Dusty Springfield. Speaking of "hits," they're all here. At times these arrangements sound corny and stupid, but Dusty herself is always amazing. I didn't know "I Close My Eyes and Count to 10" before I picked this up. Now I love it.

To play along, or check out other answers, click here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Friday's Feast #33

If you could live on another continent for 1 year, which one would you choose? Europe. Specifically the UK. I've always wondered about life in England, Ireland and Scotland and a year would give me a chance to satisfy my curiosity.

Which browser do you use to surf the Internet? Mozilla Firefox.

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you know about the history of your country? A solid 7. I'm good with the lead up to the Civil War (I was educated in the Land of Lincoln public school system, after all) and all that follows to today. But with my reading about Abigail Adams, I realize how very much I don't know about the Revolution. Spanish American War, Alamo, etc. Not good on that, either.

Main Course
Finish this sentence: Love is sometimes elusive.

Have you ever been in or near a tornado? No. While I've been in, literally, hundreds of tornado watches and warnings, not one ever touched down.

If you want to serve up to your feast, or to sample the meals whipped up by other bloggers, visit

"Who ARE those guys?"

Butch and Sundance asked one another that when faced with their worthiest, and most deadly, adversaries, the mysterious Super Posse. I've been asking that as I've been watching my Cubs fall to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

A National League Girl born and bred, I pretty much ignore the AL. Instead I've spent the last months worried about the D'backs and the Cardinals. As much as I've been worried, that is. The Cubs have the best record in the MLB and if they haven't quite been VANQUISHING each team that crosses their path, they have been successfully winning each series.

But these Devil Rays. They seem to have uncovered Kryptonite or something. I'll be glad when this series ends. (And those White Sox come across town for a whuppin'.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #72 -- Dipping my toe into random waters


I always enjoy it when others write "random thought" TTs, but even after more than 70 Thursdays, I have yet to tackle one. Here’s my attempt at a completely random TT about myself. I believe all 13 are facts never before revealed about This Gal! A breathtaking notion, I know. Whether they’re entertaining or not – well, that’s up to you.

1. I have countless pairs of sandals, but not a single pair of flip-flops. I’m not crazy about that between-the-toes thing.

2. There’s no contest – New England clam chowder is vastly superior to its Manhattan counterpart.

3. One of my prized possessions is a snow globe of Hollywood featuring Mann’s Chinese and the Capitol Records Tower.

4. My greatest strength is just that – my strength. I’m resourceful, think clearly when under pressure and can endure a great deal. I’m the one you want by your side when the going gets rough.

5. My greatest weakness is my complete and utter lack of self-discipline. I can be a such lazy slob! I’m often ashamed of how little I accomplish in a day if I don’t have a client-imposed deadline. (And, since clients don’t care how often I sort through the magazines and files stacked on my floor at home … well, you get the idea.)

6. The last movie I just sat on the sofa and watched is Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring. Made in 1971, it stars Sally Field as a hippie-chick druggie and David Carradine as her bare-chested, love-beaded boyfriend. I can be ceaselessly entertained by crap like this. (See #5.)

7. My alarm clock is set for 6:00. I’m a big fan of the snooze button.

8. I swear a lot. My dad used to say that cursing only serves to reveal a limited vocabulary. I say, “Fuck that!” No, really, I have an expansive vocabulary. After all, I’m a writer by trade. I just swear a lot.

9. Cinnamon is one of my favorite scents and flavors.

10. Since I love both movies and baseball, I guess it’s only appropriate that I confess: Redford’s Roy Hobbs (The Natural) is my ideal baseball player, Cooper’s Lou Gehrig (Pride of the Yankees) is inspirational and heroic, but Costner’s Crash Davis (Bull Durham) is hotter than either of them. “I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.” As Annie breathlessly replied, “Oh, my …”

11. Thinking of opening presents: My favorite grandma liked to give me bedroom slippers for Christmas, even though I never wear slippers. It didn't happen every year, but it occurred often enough. I didn’t think about it much at the time, but now that she’s gone I am sooo curious: Did she not know that I don’t wear slippers? Or did she know but was concerned that my feet would be cold?

12. Please, no nuts in my brownies. Ever.

13. At times, when I behave especially badly, I chastise myself because Miz Melanie Hamilton Wilkes would never act this way. Of all the books I’ve read, Gone with the Wind and the contrast between Scarlett (the one I completely get) and Melanie (the one I wish I was) may have had the biggest impact on me. Go figure.

Include your link in the comments and I'll add you here:
1) Chelle Y. takes us on a tour of her purse2) Malcolm has a timely tribute to Get Smart
3) SJR's TT is operatic
4) Get out your hankies! Michelle's TT is 13 chick flicks.
5) Susiej tempts us with a lemony treat
6) Nicholas takes us on a genuine UK-style cyber pub crawl
7) Kay celebrates "Take Your Fellow Bloggers to Work" Day
8) Jenny McB rejoins the Thursday 13! It's been too long!
9) Claudia shows us how Denver is preparing for the convention
10) B Boys Mom shares dieting tips
11) Susan Helene Gottfried updates us on her "Progress"
12) Sandy Carlson shares facts about an American treasure
13) Carol, I'm sorry I couldn't follow the link to your TT. I tried!
14) As they say on Sesame Street, Lisa's TT is brought to us by the letter P
15) Lori has a musical TT
16) Adelle's TT will leave you a little breathless
17) Journeywoman must think it's time to play the music and light the lights …
18) Winter's TT is "frickin' brilliant."
19) Sorry, Perpstu, but I couldn't follow your link. And I wanted to see what that last-minute idea was!
20) Mistress of the Dark is up for some good, old-fashioned retail therapy
21) Hootin' Ani's TT is positively poetic!
22) Lori is filled with thoughts of Serenity
23) Chris' TT is really an important public service announcement
24) Clara takes us along on vacation

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Happy Birthday to a gentleman and a scholar

Literally. He is. Paul McCartney earned his knighthood years and years ago, and just last month he received a doctorate from Yale.

So today he turns 66. Happy Birthday, my liege.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ok, so it does bother me now and again

Being fifty, that is.

I'm reasonably unlined for my age (thanks to a slavish devotion to moisturizer and exfoliation). I don't have gray hair. Yes, it's easier to put weight on and harder to take it off, so I won't claim to look great for my age. But I do assert that I look pretty damn good for fifty. That's not what makes me uncomfortable.

It's the number itself. A FIVE and a ZERO. I don't like looking at it. I don't like entering it as my age on surveys. When I see it, it doesn't feel like it has anything to do with me.

For example, just now, I thought I'd kill the time before my 2:00 meeting by visiting the San Diego Union-Tribune's website and catching up on the exploits of my beloved Future Hall of Famer, Greg Maddux. There was a little "tell us about yourself" pop up that appeared on the site. All they wanted to know were gender, zip code, and … um … age. Ick. (It doesn't help my mood that my beloved's record is 3-5, either.)

Tuesday Tunes

Oh, I'm all over this one!

This week we're all about The Beatles aka The Fab Four.

Who is your favorite Beatle? James Paul McCartney, who has a birthday tomorrow.

What is one of your favorite Beatle songs?
Depends on my mood, but these days I lean toward "I Will" from The White Album.

Best/Worst cover of a Beatles song.
This is easy! Best: I loved Chikeezie (sp?) and his totally original, soulful rendition of "She's a Woman" on American Idol; Worst: Barry Manilow singing "Yesterday."

Best song by a Beatle after the breakup. Oooh, this is hard! A toss up between "Watching the Wheels" by John (Double Fantasy) and "My Brave Face" by Paul (Flowers in the Dirt).

To see other answers, or play along yourself, click here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Is it me, or does everyone struggle with this?

I'm sitting here at my desk, trying very hard to behave like the responsible professional they take me for, but it's so hard! You see, Diana Ross' "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" is sailing through my powerful little white iPod speakers.

Keep your hands on the keyboard, Gal! Do not reach for the sky (ain't mountain high enough) and then drop your hands earthward (ain't no valley low enough) or spread your arms as far as they'll go (ain't no river wide enough) or point to your heart (to keep me) and then point away (from you).

Uh-oh! If this is the playlist I think it is, "Midnight Train to Georgia" is next!

Manic Monday #12

If your personality had to be summed up as a sandwich, what kind of sandwich would you be?
A burger, because it's always casual and a little messy, like me. And it can be simple and straightforward, or complicated by a lot of condiments, also like me.

If you knew that someone was dying, but they didn’t know, would you tell them the truth or deceive them about it? Wow! Of course this is a very serious situation (one I hope I never find myself in) and a lot would depend on individual circumstances (like if that someone has young ones that need to be planned for), but my first impulse is to say I'd deceive them. Death is ultimately between you and God, and I don't need to be involved.

Do you dress the same when you are depressed as you do when you are very happy? Yes. My uniform always begins with jeans, unless I have some professional thing to do or I'm going to the theater. Then it begins with dark slacks. So while my destination has an impact on my clothes, my mood never does. My choice of purse might, but not my mood.

To play along yourself, visit the official Manic Monday site.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I took this quiz while wearing an I LOVE LUCY nightshirt

… so how profound can I really be?

You Are Disturbingly Profound

You're contemplative, thoughtful, and very intense.

Taking time to figure out the meaning of life is a priority for you.

Because you're so introspective, you often react in ways that surprise people.

No one can really understand how you are on the inside... and that disturbs them.

It was nice to see him

Dick Van Dyke just appeared on the TV Land Awards. Watching him walk on stage made me smile. He looks good -- all white-hair and distinguished -- but was he lisping? Oh well, so what? He must be 80 by now and he's brought us all so much joy.

The one I love to hate

TV Land has a new reality show, She's Got the Look. It's a search for an over-35 supermodel. One of my favorites, Sharon, a 63-year-old widow who entered the competition because her late husband always told her she was beautiful, was just eliminated and that's sad. I thought she was inspiring … and warm and completely charming.

But my real favorite is the one I love to hate: Paula. She's got terrific bone structure and her muscles are amazing. But she wears her hair in a spiky do and is tattooed all over the place. Naturally the judges, photographers, stylists, etc., explain to her that these are things she has to work on and overcome. (Just as another contestant, Hope, hears all the time that her height -- or lack thereof -- will be a liability.)

But on this morning's episode, Paula spun out. It was great, both angry AND tearful. Paula doesn't want to be judged for her look! It's her STORY that makes her special and beautiful. She's suffered, people! She cannot believe how shallow all the judges, photographers, stylists, etc., are to mention her appearance.

Um … excuse me, dumb ass, but it's MODELING competition. If you don't want to be judged on your appearance, you shouldn't have entered. It's called She's Got the Look, after all, not She's Got the "Story." Also, those muscles didn't just crop up. She may be naturally muscular but she's ripped thanks to hours in the gym. I doubt fairies landed on her headboard one night and cut off all her hair. Was she somehow mysteriously tattooed without her knowledge? Highly unlikely. Therefore she's being judged for the decisions she made about her look (which is different than poor Hope, who clearly wishes she was taller).

Her breakdown was so completely inappropriate and irrational that I suspect it was fake and designed to grab camera time. I can't wait for the next episode -- both of the show and of Paula's lunacy.

A SATC observation

Everything is really Miranda's fault.

(Spoiler follows.)

I saw the Sex and the City movie again last night and while I still stand by my earlier "loved it" assessment, the repeated viewing gave me this insight -- Miranda Hobbs really is a budinski, isn't she? First she wanted Carrie to marry Big so that she would have some legal rights to their stunning new penthouse. Then she said she they were crazy to get married, which triggered Big's crisis. For a woman so smart, Miranda can be awfully dumb at times. But then again, can't we all?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Feeling the pinch

Since I live alone and my cooking consists of slitting the top crust of the pot pie before I put it in the microwave, I haven't much noticed how food prices have risen. Until yesterday.

Every time I go to the grocery or drug store, I pick up something that costs $1 or less and put it in the bag for the local food pantry. This way I collect a big bag of non-perishables without placing a strain on my budget. If I'm in a hurry or don't feel like roaming the aisles for a bargain, I have some old faithfuls that I would grab because -- on sale or not -- they were never more than $1. Specifically generic tomato soup or storebrand spaghetti. Hey! Now both products are over $1! (I ended up with Rice-a-Roni, reduced this week from $1.69 to $1.00.) For me, it really isn't that big a deal. But it got me worrying …

I understand that packaged foods travel by truck or rail and now fuel costs more. But this is so sad. More of our neighbors need help from the food pantry, yet it will be harder for local families to contribute groceries because their food dollar doesn't go as far as it used to.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Good for what ails me

I miss my best friend something fierce …
I am vaguely yet naggingly uncomfortable about my current client project because I can't trust the dillweed I'm stuck working with …
My former boss is healing slowly, so slowly that he actually said he'd "prefer the cancer" to the painful and tenacious stomach malady he's dealing with …
I feel ridiculously sad that "Big Russ" and Luke Russert will have to spend Father's Day without Tim Russert
my head feels all stuffy …
I am distinctly not happy with the way my mid-month finances are going …

So I'm coping by curling up on the sofa with a big bowl of breakfast cereal, watching the Cubs. Sure, Soriano is hurt again. OK, so Gallagher gave up three runs in the first. What of it? This glorious team is never completely out of the running. We've gone from a hopeless 3-0 at the end of the first to an extremely winnable 3-1 at the end of the fifth.

I feel sorry for everyone who doesn't have a team.

I didn't even know him!

I feel so incredibly bad about Tim Russert's passing. He was a serious journalist and he held to his standards. He also loved what he did and who he covered. He understood that journalism provides a rough draft for historians, as evidenced by this exhibit he did (and that I enjoyed) for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, IL. As described by Springfield's State Journal Register:

"His videotaped likeness can be seen on a regular basis at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, where he appears in the Campaign 1860 exhibit, which features Russert hosting a Meet the Press-style discussion of the candidates in the presidential race of 1860."

My Sunday mornings will never be the same, because if it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.

Well, excuse the begeesus out of ME, your highness

By the imperious behavior he's been exhibiting, this must be the true identity of the art director I'm currently saddled with -- I mean, collaborating with. And here I thought he was just some guy named Chuck with lots of tattoos who wears black all the time. Sorry. My mistake.

I need a drink.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

THURSDAY THIRTEEN #71 -- June Is Adopt-a-Cat Month!


… rather buying your next feline companion from a pet store, a breeder, or through an ad in the paper.

I got these 13 facts from the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Society. Check their websites for even more information about their good works -- and the importance of pet adoption. Then visit Petfinder (I've perpetually got the link there at the right) if you decide to add a feline to your household.

1) Between 6 and 8 million dogs and cats are turned in at animal shelters each year

2) Half (3 or 4 million) are euthanized

3) That doesn’t include all the cats that are abandoned or let to run free, and end up starving, freezing, being hit by cars, and suffering other fates too cruel to contemplate.

4) By adopting from an animal shelter, you are literally saving lives. Not only the cat you bring home, but also the cat who can replace yours in the shelter and will therefore also enjoy a shot at a happy, indoor life.

5) Shelters routinely examine the cats and kittens and get to know their personalities a bit BEFORE they are put up for adoption. So you can be confident that your new family member is healthy.

6) Shelter cats are a bargain. They already come spayed/neutered and have their shots, saving their new owners a lot of money. Many shelters also include food, toys or a litter box with the adoption fee. Breeders and those who are willing to give their cats away “free to good homes” seldom offer such a good deal.

7) Many shelters include microchipping with the adoption fee. Really, it's one-stop shopping! How economical and convenient is that?

8) You’ll have a trusted resource for pet information. The animal shelter where you adopt your cat will usually be happy to help you for years to come, providing the names of vets in your area, education about claw clipping vs. declawing, tips for choosing a vacation cat-sitter, etc.

9) Shelters give seniors a break. Both senior cats and senior citizens. Hundreds of shelters all over the country participate in programs like Pets for People, which adopts adult cats to senior citizens at a reduced cost.

10) Shelters provide a vital neighborhood service and they deserve your support. Cats who are allowed to roam can frighten birds, kill rabbits, destroy plants, and defecate wherever they please. Of course, it’s just cats doing what cats do and they should not be blamed – yet homeless, abandoned cats can be a nuisance and a health hazard. Shelters help get these poor cats off the streets, out of alleys and away from your garden.

11) Having a cat reduces your blood pressure and can help prevent heart disease.

12) Cats are more independent and more flexible than dogs when it comes to the schedule of a busy owner.

13) I have only ever shared my home with rescued cats, and there is no way anyone can convince me that an expensive, purebred kitty would be any more loving or lovable than my feline roommates have been.


Leave your link in comments and I'll add you here:

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

May God Bless the Coolest Guy in the Universe

This sad news is from the LA Times …

Paul Newman is reportedly very ill with cancer

According to reports, Paul Newman, 83 and a former chain-smoker, has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

The acclaimed actor is said to have been diagnosed at New York’s Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he is currently receiving outpatient treatment and is under a leading New York oncologist's care. One of the few to know about Newman's illness is his "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" costar and good pal, Robert Redford.

As well as being an acclaimed actor, Newman is also the founder of Newman's Own, which offers spaghetti sauce and salad dressing. The company donates all its earning to charity, with earnings reaching more than $100 million since its creation.

Newman has made major contributions to those less fortunate, including being on the board of directors for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, an organization that creates camps for terminally ill children.

No confirmation from the hospital or from Newman's camp.

Tuesday Tunes

"Too Darn Hot," as Cole Porter wrote so let's go with a bit of word association this week.

Remember tell us the first artist/song/album etc that comes to mind when you see the following words

Chicago's own Judy Roberts

cool: "Get cool, boy!" from West Side Story

swing: "You tell me that you've heard every sound there is, and your bird can swing," "And Your Bird Can Sing," The Beatles

club: Culture Club

The E Street Band

"Thank You, Girl," The Beatles

"Second Hand Rose," Streisand

"Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1999," Prince

"Why Don't We Do It in the Road," The Beatles

"Smoke on the Water," Deep Purple

For more information, or to play along yourself, click here.